10 Best Songs Inspired By The Caribbean

By 13 August, 2021

Caribbean music is said to be colourful, diverse and upbeat since it includes many styles like reggae, dancehall, salsa, calypso and bachaya. 

The traditions of African and indigenous cultures are said to have influenced the different styles of Caribbean music.  

Many modern artists have released songs which are heavily influenced by Caribbean culture and music. 

Given below are some songs inspired by the Caribbean. 

1. Work By Rihanna ft. Drake

Work is Rihanna’s fourteenth number 1 single and part of her eighth studio album ‘Anti’ which was released in 2016. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and remained in the first position for nine consecutive weeks. It is also one of the best selling digital singles of all time with more than 33 million units sold worldwide.

The Work video is highly inspired by the Caribbean Islands and this is reflected in the outfits, people and dance performance. Rihanna herself is from the island of Barbados and the video explores the beauty of Caribbean culture and heritage. 

The outfits are colourful, the lighting adds to the colourful ambience and even the food which is shown in the video included jerk chicken which is a popular Caribbean delicacy. 

Rihanna is seen in a loosely crocheted slip dress with Rastafarian colours and is said to be paying tribute to the bright colours of Caribbean countries’ flags.

2. Cheap Thrills By Sia ft. Sean Paul

Cheap Thrills is part of Sia’s seventh studio album ‘This is Acting’. It was Sia’s first number 1 single and topped many music charts like Billboard Hot 100, Mainstream Top 40 and Radio Songs Charts. It is one of the most popular songs by Sia and is known for its reggae style, bouncy and Caribbean flavoured tropical beat. It is also called by many as a ‘bouncy party anthem’.

The lyrics talk about partying on Friday nights and are said to be influenced by Caribbean’s party culture.

Cheap Thrills is also a very popular karaoke song and at one point it was included in the setlist of almost every karaoke night which was held after its release. 

If you need an instrumental version of this song for karaoke or even for your personal sound project, we recommend using a high quality vocal remover tool like PhonicMind to achieve the best instrumental version of this song.

3. Hold Up By Beyonce

Hold Up is the third single of Beyonce’s sixth studio album ‘Lemonade’ which was released in 2016. Hold Up debuted on the US Billboard Hot 100 Chart at number 13 and the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs at number 8. 

In the Hold Up music video, Beyonce is said to represent the Yoruba goddess Oshun which is one of the deities of the Yoruba based religions. 

These religions are practised in the Caribbean Islands and other places like Ltin America. Oshun is often depicted wearing yellow and Beyonce can be seen wearing a yellow Roberto Cavalli frock.

4. Who Let The Dogs Out By Baha Men

Who Let The Dogs Out was the Bahamian group Baha men’s first hit and their most popular song till date. It became famous in both the United States and UK and gained popularity after appearing in the movie ‘Rugrats in Paris : The Movie’. It won the Grammy for Best Dance Recording at the 2001 Grammy Awards.

This song combines the popular Caribbean inspired island sounds with modern contemporary pop. The original version of this song is called Doggie and a lot of versions of this song were already hits in the Caribbean. 

The Baha Men made a different version to make it more appealing to American listeners.

5. Caribbean Queen By Billy Ocean

Caribbean Queen was one of Billy Ocean’s Billboard Top 10 hits from his album ‘Suddenly’. It was featured in the second season of Miami Vice and also appeared in the 2006 video game ‘Scarface’.

Billy Ocean initially co-wrote and recorded this song as European Queen, but it did not become successful in the UK. 

The track was later edited and the word European was replaced by Caribbean. This song topped the Billboard Hot 100 Charts in 1984.

6. Could You Be Loved By Bob Marley And The Wailers

Could You Be Loved was released in 1980 and was included in Bob Marley and the Wailers’ hit album ‘Legend’. It was originally released as a part of their album ‘Uprising’.

Bob Marley is popularly known as the father of modern reggae and you cannot listen to this song without thinking of the Caribbean. 

It is a popular tropical island music hit which is very well known and played a lot in the Caribbean.

7. Kokomo By The Beach Boys

Kokomo was released as a single by the Beach Boys from their album ‘Cocktails’ and ‘Still Cruisin’. It became a number 1 hit in several countries like the USA, Japan and Australia. 

The song talks about the vacation taken by two lovers to a fictional island called Kokomo located off Florida Keys. 

It also makes many references to Caribbean countries like Aruba, Jamaica, Bermuda, Martinique and Montserrat. 

8. All In My Head By Fifth Harmony And Fetty Wap

All In My Head is a reggae style song and it was sampled from the song ‘Flex’ by Jamaican DJ Mad Cobra. 

It includes a vast variety of instrumentals like guitar, percussion and synthesized finger snaps creating an electronic reggae and tropical island beat. 

The music video shows the girls dressed in bright colours, dancing and partying on an island which is said to be a representation of the party culture of the Caribbean Islands. 

9. Hot, Hot, Hot by Arrow

Hot, Hot, Hot released in 1983 was an international hit by Alphonsus Cassell also known as Arrow. He is a singer from the Caribbean Island of Montserrat. 

Several cover versions were also released and the one by American singer Buster Poindexter became very popular. 

This song is a Caribbean classic and is often played in cruise ships, weddings and parties.

10. Pass The Dutchie By Musical Youth

Pass The Dutchie was released in 1982 by British – Jamaican group called Musical Youth. 

This song is said to be inspired by ‘Pass the Kouchie’, a song by the Jamaican reggae group called Mighty Diamonds.


If you haven’t heard Caribbean style music before, it is never too late to start. Once you start listening, you can never stop because of its infectious rhythm and beat.

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